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Australian legacy media bloodbath: Massive layoffs expected at News Corp and Nine

Staff at two of Australia’s largest corporate media giants are bracing for layoffs, with dozens of jobs expected to go at Nine and major restructuring announced for News Corp.

News Corp chair Lachlan Murdoch held meetings in Sydney this week with UK boss Rebekah Brooks, global chief Robert Thomson and Australia head Michael Miller, leaving employees bracing for job cuts due to a struggling advertising market, The Guardian reported.

Nine Entertainment, News Corp’s main Australian rival, also plans to make significant redundancies in its broadcast division, according to Crikey, with a source telling the publication that “huge cost cutting” was on the way.

Nine layoffs
Nine CEO Mike Sneesby (Nine)

The advertising-dependent Australian corporate media has been hit hard by high interest rates, media writer Tim Burrowes said.

Rates were hiked by the Reserve Bank of Australia to bring inflation under control, which was exacerbated by mass immigration. Those same media companies have been united in support of the open borders policies of both major parties, which led to the record-high migration intake.

News Corp profits fell 75% last financial year, largely due to falling advertising revenue at News Corp Australia.

In the six months to December, Nine’s net profit after tax fell 21%, with the broadcast division seeing earnings decrease by 27%. Stan increased pre-tax earnings by 41% and real estate arm Domain enjoyed a 37% boost.

Australia’s third media giant, Seven West, saw profits fall 53% over the same period.

News Corp on Wednesday announced a new partnership with OpenAI, the US tech company behind ChatGPT, giving it access to current and archived content.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said: “Our partnership with News Corp is a proud moment for journalism and technology.

“We greatly value News Corp’s history as a leader in reporting breaking news around the world, and are excited to enhance our users’ access to its high-quality reporting.

“Together, we are setting the foundation for a future where AI deeply respects, enhances, and upholds the standards of world-class journalism.”

News Corp layoffs Lachlan Murdoch
Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch (Eva Rinaldi- Flickr)

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